Graflex.org Forum Index Graflex.org
Get help with your Graflex questions here
 
 FAQFAQ   SearchSearch   MemberlistMemberlist   UsergroupsUsergroups   RegisterRegister 
 ProfileProfile   Log in to check your private messagesLog in to check your private messages   Log inLog in 

Big enlargers
Goto page 1, 2  Next
 
Post new topic   Reply to topic    Graflex.org Forum Index -> Large Format Photography
View previous topic :: View next topic  
Author Message
Padeye



Joined: 30 Jan 2002
Posts: 21
Location: Phoenix, AZ

PostPosted: Tue Feb 26, 2002 10:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I haven't even started shooting with my Crown but trying top plan ahead for printing. I had considered getting a Graflarger back and building my own enlarger stand but found a Beseler 45MXT for a bargain price. It's got a color head which I'll probably want to replace with condenser later on but I should be able to get a good lens and a neg carrier and still be under a thousand dollars. I know that most 4x5 enlargers cost a wheelbarrow full of money. Does the 45MXT have any serious drawbacks I should know about?
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Les



Joined: 09 May 2001
Posts: 2682
Location: Detroit, MI

PostPosted: Tue Feb 26, 2002 10:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Not that I'm aware of. I suggest you find either a 135mm Componon S or Gerogon. These won't cost more the $200 You can use the color head instead of filters for VC papers. The benefit of a diffused light source is that it minimizes dust and scratches.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Padeye



Joined: 30 Jan 2002
Posts: 21
Location: Phoenix, AZ

PostPosted: Tue Feb 26, 2002 11:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks. I'd be interested in knowing the correct procedure for using a color head for VC. I tried to do with my Beseler 67dichro by using the color analyzer to find settings to match filters but it wasn't reliable.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
dkt



Joined: 26 Feb 2002
Posts: 32
Location: se usa

PostPosted: Tue Feb 26, 2002 11:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

the colorhead--a dichro 45S??--is great for the MXTs...works great with b&w and color, for making internegs, polaroid transfers, printing on panalure--you name it. It's bright--uses a quartz projector bulb--and much more even than the condenser. The MXT is a workhorse...only problem I can think of would be if for some reason the frame was twisted...seen that happen with a beat-up old MX series enlarger....Sometimes that motor assembly can leak oil too...this is sorta normal. I use 'em where I work, and they're great enlargers....p.s. if it's the dichro 45s head, I think you can get a condenser insert for it, as well as different types of mixing chambers. They make different chambers for different foramts, so check this out if you plan to use 4x5....I use the 4x5 chamber for everything....good luck.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Padeye



Joined: 30 Jan 2002
Posts: 21
Location: Phoenix, AZ

PostPosted: Tue Feb 26, 2002 11:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the feedback. I think I'm going to jump on this one. The only thing I noticed wrong was that the shaft that turns the gears was not level, like someone assembled it wrong. I'll ask to take a better look before I put my money down. Even if I need to do some repairs this is a bargain.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
dkt



Joined: 26 Feb 2002
Posts: 32
Location: se usa

PostPosted: Tue Feb 26, 2002 11:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

magenta adds contrast
yellow for lowering

depends on the brand of paper, your developer etc....you can use just the one filter, or you can use a CMY mix to do a neutral density type thing or a speed matching...I just use the one filter....

no filter or around 10M or 10Y (depends on paper) is a grade 2. Check out the cheat sheets with the paper you use, they oughta have a scale included...Kodak and Ilford both supply this. In the end, you can do just about anything....
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
dkt



Joined: 26 Feb 2002
Posts: 32
Location: se usa

PostPosted: Tue Feb 26, 2002 11:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

By shaft, do you mean the part that runs inside the chasis? that the neg & lens stage and lamphouse ride on?? It is possible for this carriage part--as they call it--to jump a tooth or two on the track, so it's not even from one side to the other...if it was moved around alot this might happen...sometimes they jump a track. You can fix this pretty easily. BUT, if the struts on the back weren't tightened up right, or it was improperly aligned..over time this could have twisted the frame as well...the struts in the back are for alignment as well.....so maybe, take a square with you, and a torpedo level & try to align the beast before you buy.....if the folks in the store can't get it aligned....for you, think twice or ask for a relly *good* deal...because there are probably lots of decent used enlargers flooding the market now....

p.s. we had to replace the entire lower bellows & lens stage of an MX and it wasn't cheap....it was due to alignment problems & old age...it cost almost $400 in parts....

good luck & contact beseler if you need an instruction manual....

_________________
as always, MY OPINIONS only.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
45PSS



Joined: 28 Sep 2001
Posts: 3230
Location: Mid Peninsula, Ca.

PostPosted: Wed Feb 27, 2002 2:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Did a search and here is a source for more information. Copy of links failed, so go to
http://www.phototechmag.com select back issues, in the search box type "beseler 45mxt" to get a list of articles about this enlarger, Then try "enlarger alignment" in the search box.
Charles

_________________
While a picture may be worth a thousand words, a photograph is worth a million.



[ This Message was edited by: 45PSS on 2002-02-26 18:50 ]
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
jdman



Joined: 13 May 2001
Posts: 302
Location: Midwest

PostPosted: Wed Feb 27, 2002 3:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

This afternoon I decided to just try and make an enlarger. Took and old Speed, Made a cardboard tower, put a light socket in it and stuffed in down the hood, removed the GG, Tore apart an old filmholder and make a negative carrier, Sealed it up and mounted it on a Bessler collum. It actually worked, but have a slight warm spot in the middle. Still looking for a 4x5 real enlarger as I am really disappointed with digital scanning of 4x5 negatives. Russ
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
jdman



Joined: 13 May 2001
Posts: 302
Location: Midwest

PostPosted: Tue Mar 05, 2002 2:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

A little update, Made a new tower out of sheetmetal,took an old spring back removed the ground glass but left the Fresnel lens in, got rid of the hot spot,put 40 watt bathroom bulb in, sealed with aluminum tape and tested,result is I am no longer in the market for an enlarger. Russ
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
jpmose



Joined: 29 May 2001
Posts: 164
Location: Atlanta, GA

PostPosted: Tue Mar 05, 2002 4:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hello,

I have a Beseler 45MCRX, which I bought new in 1973. It is still like new. The 45 MXT is almost identical, just a later model. I will tell you this...it is a great enlarger but more prone to requiring realignment than others like the Durst. What annoys me the most is the inability to easily adjust the film plane and lens standard with each other. I have resorted to shims since some of the problems could not be resolved by the simple turn of a screw, bolt, etc. However, most of adjustments are possible and the MXT offers more adjustments than the MCRX. If you end up with the MXT, do follow all the procedures for alignment. This is very important. Mine had moved from New York to Scottsdale to LA to Atlanta and now Fort Worth. Even with all of these moves (there were four while I lived in LA alone!), the adjustments were minor. I recently adjusted: rear struts, counterspring (helps the motor raise the head without straining too much), lens plane and film plane. Now it is in spec. but I am told I will have to check all of this more often than I would on Durst or Saunders. However, they cost a fortune so an adjustment here and there isn't that big of a deal. Just make sure you do it!!! I have a Beseler accessory which fits in place of the lens board and negative carrier and has two levels so the lens board and negative carrier can be perfectly aligned against the baseboard. Watch for this on Ebay, they show up from time to time. I hear laser alignment is the best method but I think the device is costly.

I am not trying to sound negative about Beseler. The MXT is a wonderful enlarger (as the MCRX is as well)! It does have more capability for adjusting the alignment without resorting to shims. I just want to warn you not only of the importance of proper alignment but some of the challanges you could face.

I agree with "DKT" above! Check and make sure you can align it and it is not damaged. There are too many enlargers on the market to settle for a dog. Mine had jumped a tooth or two as "DKT" described. Not uncommon with moves according to Beseler. It was easy to adjust if you follow instructions. If you end up with the enlarger or any Beseler, call Steve McFadden at Beseler (1-800-BESELER, extention # 262) and request alignment instructions. I received a ten page booklet on alignment of the MCRX that was very helpful. One problem Steve warned me about is the constant use of the "swing" on the lens standard. There is a ball bearing that wears and will cause alignment problems. It causes the lens standard to drop slightly. The bearing isn't available anymore. Luckily, I never used this feature since I could adjust perspective on the camera. I don't think this is an issue with the MXT model. You can ask Steve about it.

Watch for the Beseler Adjus-table to show up on Ebay. This is a great accessory allowing convenient high magnifications by moving your baseboard up and down on racks that the table provides. Especially nice if you have to crop a lot into the image.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
dkt



Joined: 26 Feb 2002
Posts: 32
Location: se usa

PostPosted: Tue Mar 05, 2002 5:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

yeah, that's all correct...we use an MX and a couple of newer MXTs. I love them but they are touchy as far as alignment goes....out of all the enlargers I've ever used, it's funny how the MX series ones seem to just go "out" in everyday use....every couple of months it seems some minor adjustment needs to be made.

If you can find one, I'd go for an MXT or a newer one over an older model....our MX was one of the ones with a tapered bellows on the lens stage....this had the little "swing" knob described above, but it lacked some of the alignment fine-tune controls that the new ones had....ours got progressively worse over the years and we did some half***ed stuff like shimming up easels with masking tape & cardboard & stuff like that until we couldn't take it anymore....the cure was a lower bellows assembly that is square like the MXTs. This comes with a new lens stage as well...the part is for the lens turret actually. It has 3 knobs that will let you align in both directions, but the negative stage is still tied to the whole assembly...if for some reason the enlarger was really abused, it still might not be possible to align it....

I agree that the MXs are a PIA sometimes in this regards, not to rant too much about this, but even on an Omega D2, you have about a dozen alignment screws & such....you can align every inch practically...I talked with a beseler tech when we changed that part, and he said if you actually used the lens turret, you'd "never get it aligned"....I guess roatating lenses constantly knocks it out...well, we mostly print 2 formats, so that's not a big issue....but if you find yourself scratching your head over fussy alignment...that's par for the course.

I just use a sheet of glass and a torpedo level to align with....nothing fancy, but it works good enough.

good luck..

p.s. the adjus-table is a great idea, but you can make a drop leaf table easily...we have in the past, but opted for some slick Kreolab stations in our lab...they make a self-contained enlarging station for an MXT...built in safelights (small OC filter), and paper safes....all wired--nice...oh yeah, the safelights are actually lightboxes built onto the counter...you can edit negs without ruining your paper (or your co-worker)...

_________________
as always, MY OPINIONS only.

[ This Message was edited by: dkt on 2002-03-05 09:47 ]
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Texas Ed



Joined: 02 Oct 2001
Posts: 21

PostPosted: Mon Mar 25, 2002 9:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Interesting comments on the Beseler MX series. I'm an Omega user (D3 and D4) and I've had MX users tell me that MXs "never go out of alignment like the Omegas do, and the Omegas are impossible to get aligned". I know the statement about the Omegas is wrong. If you can follow a fairly lengthy procedure to do the whole job right, and don't move the enlarger around a lot (does anyone move 4x5 enlargers around a lot??), the Omega enlargers will align and keep their alignment. Maybe the MX users didn't know their enlargers were out of alignment, or didn't use them enough to get them out? And those who say it is impossible to align an Omega may not have had the instructions to follow? With the number of adjustments on the Omegas you can't just "wing it" and follow instructions "if all else fails".
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
dkt



Joined: 26 Feb 2002
Posts: 32
Location: se usa

PostPosted: Mon Mar 25, 2002 11:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oh I agree completely...I use 2 D2Vs in my own darkroom, and 3 MXTs where I work...I think alot of people just don't know how to align an enlarger period....I actually find it easier to align an Omega D2 than a Beseler MXT. I use both daily, although I actually put a good 30 some odd hours a week in on the MXTs....I don't have to do an all out realignment, but I often have to tweak the lens stage....this is where the problem comes in with those older ones...you can't get fine control over the lens stage. On an Omega, if you know which screws to turn, and what part is repsonsible for what...you can align the entire beast easily.....

Who moves 'em?? Well, having moved a large darkroom to a new facility once, that's one place....and having to bug out a darkroom completely during a hurricane, actually doing this twice, that's another couple of times...you don't think a whole lot about alignment, when the water is rising.....

They're both good enlargers though, to me alignmnet is like knowing how to change a flat tire on a car...it's basic stuff you gotta know...

_________________
as always, MY OPINIONS only.

[ This Message was edited by: dkt on 2002-03-25 03:35 ]
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
manray43



Joined: 24 Jul 2001
Posts: 6
Location: SE pa usa

PostPosted: Fri Apr 26, 2002 3:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

speaking of beseler enlargers...i have an old model 45m...no color head, no filter drawer...i'm having difficulty printing 6x6 negs...when i try to get full coverage, the corners get cut off. i'm using an el nikkor 75mm f4 lens, and was wondering, if a longer lens mite solve the prob...35mm negs and 4x5 print ok with the proper lenses (50mm and 127mm). any recommendations or suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
ray
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Display posts from previous:   
Post new topic   Reply to topic    Graflex.org Forum Index -> Large Format Photography All times are GMT
Goto page 1, 2  Next
Page 1 of 2

 
Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum


Powered by phpBB © 2001, 2005 phpBB Group